Behind the scenes at Flog It!

Posted on 19th January 2018

Flog It! is one of the most popular antiques shows on television and regularly achieves an audience of more than two million viewers in its weekday afternoon slot. We were therefore delighted to host the film crew when they came to record part of the programme’s 17th series at our sale on 16 January and were also rather intrigued by how the day would go! 

Well before the auction started at 10am, the saleroom was full of BBC people with clipboards and cameras, taking readings, checking distances and marking out interview areas. The presenter Paul Martin and antiques experts Catherine Southon, David Fletcher and James Lewis mingled with the ever-building crowd of auction goers, chatting comfortably to fans whilst good humoredly posing for photos and signing autographs. 

Also arriving were the owners of the more than thirty lots that were going under the hammer that day, having been selected at the public valuation event at Ushaw College the previous month. They were ushered into a side room and looked after until the moment arrived when their lot was just about to be called. At this point they joined Paul Martin and the experts for a short chat about the object they were selling and then were filmed watching the bidding process. 

It was very exciting waiting to see what the lots would sell for and everyone – including the seasoned experts and BBC behind-the-scenes staff – seemed to hold their breath before each result. 

Among the lots was a collection of Rupert the Bear books and figurine bought for 15p in 1971 by Audrey and Stewart Schofield (pictured with Paul Martin and David Fletcher (far right)). The couple from Langley Park, near Durham, bought the books for their four-year-old daughter, but a recent sort-out uncovered the collection and they decided to sell them.  

Afterwards Mrs Schofield said: “It is the first time we have ever sold anything at auction and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Flog It! is one of our favourite television programmes so it was really exciting to have been involved with the show and to meet the TV experts.” 

The items were valued at £10 to £20 but were knocked down for £35 with the Schofields donating the proceeds to the Great North Air Ambulance Service. 

Also joining in was Brenda Smithson from Lanchester who was selling a Scandanavian sterling silver and green enamel double leaf brooch that she had bought at a local antiques fair for £35. She was thrilled to double her money when the brooch sold for £70. 

“This is my first experience of selling at auction and I will definitely do it again. You could say that I have caught the bug!” She said.  

All the owners seemed to really enjoy being part of the filming and left the saleroom buzzing with excitement. Live auctions are great fun and it’s fantastic to be able to capture some of this atmosphere on film. The BBC crew, experts and presenter were brilliantly efficient whilst remaining friendly and approachable. The day ran like clockwork – fuelled by plenty of tea and coffee!– and was hugely enjoyable for everyone. It’s easy to see why the show has more than 1,000 episodes under its belt! 

The Thomas Watson episode is due to air in the next 18 months.

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